For many people, a slice of bread spread with Nutella is a part of their breakfast staple. It is quick and tasty. The real simplicity at its best. It is also very likely that your favorite desserts in town also have Nutella toppings that you often find it hard to resist.
Nutella is everyone’s favorite. It is without a doubt that you might want to stock a jar or two in your kitchen. Surprisingly, one time you find an old jar of Nutella that’s been sitting in the corner of your cabinet behind your other food stocks and snacks.
It looks fine, but it has passed the expiry date on the label. As a loyal Nutella fan, it breaks your heart to waste a jar of your favorite product! But, is it still safe to put it onto your bread? Or is it time to open a new jar?
If you would like to find out more interesting facts and useful information about Nutella; how to store it, how long it lasts, and most importantly how to tell if it’s bad, let’s quickly go through this article
What is Nutella?
It is no secret that Nutella is one of the most popular food items in the world. The combination of sweetness and creaminess of chocolate makes it hard to resist. It is also easy and convenient to incorporate into many different recipes, from the pancake, cookies, dessert, even drinks.
Nutella is widely known as a hazelnut chocolate spread produced by Ferrero, an Italian manufacturer of chocolate and confectionery products. The original recipe was developed in the 1940s in Piedmont, Italy. At the time hazelnut was used to substitute cacao which was rare in supply after World War 2.
Nutella was introduced in 1964. It did not take long for this product to conquer Europe and the rest of the world. Nowadays, different countries have different Nutella formulas. The spread is greatly loved by the fans. No wonder that since 2007, every 5th of February is celebrated as World Nutella Day.
Does Nutella Expire?
Likewise any other packaged food, Nutella also comes with a “best by date” or “expiry date” (the terms used on the label may be different depending on the countries).
Remember that the date here refers to a rough estimate from the producer to guarantee the peak quality of the product when it is properly stored according to the instruction.
How Long Does Nutella Last?
The shelf life of a product is determined by several factors, including the ingredients and storage. There are at least seven ingredients in Nutella, namely sugar, palm oil, hazelnut, milk, cocoa, lecithin, and vanilla.
Nutella has a significant amount of sugar and oil, making up more than 50% of the total composition. The high amount of sugar acts as a preservative agent, but oil and milk limit the shelf life.
Different packaging of Nutella has a different shelf life after opening. Nutella that comes in a jar or tub can last for a year, while the one in the piping bag lasts for 6 months after opening.
Although it is considered safe to consume months after opening, the flavor and taste may deteriorate when it has been opened for a long time. It won’t taste as good as the first time you opened it. The best way is to finish the jar within a few weeks or a month to enjoy its best quality.
How to Store Nutella
When you buy processed food, it is always best to check the storage instructions on the label. How well you store a food product determines how long it retains the quality and safety aspects. Proper storage and hygiene practice are essential to expand shelf life and avoid unnecessary food waste.
In the case of Nutella, keep it in a dark and cool environment, away from the heat and light. Make sure to seal the lid tightly after every use. A kitchen pantry is a good fit for your Nutella.
Always use a clean knife or spoon when scooping the spread. It is undoubtedly tempting to dip your finger into the jar. But, never do that. Your finger or a spoon that’s already used to eat may carry bacteria and other contaminants. These unwanted germs can transfer to the jar and will spoil the spread.
How to Tell if Nutella is Bad or Spoiled
When observing a food item, three important aspects to check are the appearance, smell, and taste. By now, we already know that Nutella has a high content of the oil.
Oil tends to be rancid when stored for a long time. This results in a strange unpleasant smell. It won’t taste good either. So, you might want to toss this jar and get a new one.
Visible mold or bacterial colony are also signs that you need to discard your remaining jar of Nutella. Mold can grow when an opened jar is not properly handled and stored. For example, if you dip your finger after eating something or use a dirty spoon, you can transfer some germs that cause cross-contamination.
If you are still unsure although the Nutella looks and smells normal, try to taste a bit. From this taste test, you can determine if you still want to keep it or discard it. Unpleasant taste is an indication that it is no longer fit for consumption.
As long as it is not years after the printed date on the label, and no strange appearance, unpleasant taste and smell are observed, it is likely that Nutella is safe to consume after the expiration date. However, the quality might have deteriorated. The texture may not be as creamy and soft as when you first open the jar. Be sure to do the safety checks!
Nutella contains a high percentage of oil from the ingredients. After a while, this oil might separate on top of the spread. This is completely natural and can happen in other typical products with a high amount of oil, no need to worry. Give a good stir to get the right consistency back.
No, it isn’t necessary to keep an opened jar of Nutella in the fridge. Room temperature is ideal to store Nutella. It contains a high amount of fat from palm oil, hazelnut, and other ingredients. These fats will solidify at refrigerator temperature, harden the product and make it less spreadable.
Once you have a Nutella stored in the fridge, you should finish it quickly after you take it out of the fridge. Otherwise, it can go bad faster. To soften it you can put the jar out of the fridge and keep at room temperature. But, this will take time. Try to scoop out the spread and place it into a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave for 15 seconds. Be careful, too much heat can separate the oil in Nutella and make it more liquid.
Diabetics should avoid Nutella since this spread is high in sugar. For one serving of Nutella (37 gr), it contains 21 gr of sugar.
Nutella is not suitable for vegans since the ingredients include skim milk powder from cow’s milk.
Nutella comes with a “best by date” or “expiry date” on the label. This time frame is a guarantee that the product retains its peak quality when stored properly. A jar of Nutella spread can last for either one year, while the one in the piping bag has a 6-month shelf life after opening. However, the texture, flavor, and taste may degrade over time.
Proper storage and hygiene practice are keys to maintain the quality and safety of your Nutella. Always close the lid tightly and store in a cool dark place. No refrigeration needed.
The product may surpass its expiry date with proper storage. Make sure to check its appearance, smell, and taste beforehand. If you observe any unpleasant look, smell, or taste, don’t risk your health and get a new jar!
*Featured Photo by sliper84/depositphotos